Marketing is my favorite part of owning my own business. In fact, it's my favorite part of anyone I know owning their own business. I love marketing. Especially if it involves someone else's money. Someday I am going to write a book about marketing for extremely small businesses — like Tupperware dealers and Avon ladies ... and nail techs. Businesses that consist of one person who needs to make a living and might be able to budget all of $50 a month to marketing. It's so totally possible; we see it all the time in our business. But if there's already a book targeting this type of marketing, I'd sure as heck like to hear about it!
So I recently finished my 2009 federal tax return. I am not going to break down crying (again) from the devastation of having not earned any money this last year. The BF says, "Isn't that the goal when you're self-employed?" (sniff) Yeah, I guess. I mean, I'm in a very lucky position where I have very few personal bills to pay — my entire life is nail-related, and therefore, tax deductible. So between the competitions and opening the new salon in 2009, I seriously managed to end up with about zip for personal income. Which should feel great when I don't have to write out a really big check to the Feds, but mostly makes me feel like a failure as a business owner.
I'm probably the only person in the country who is actually bummed that I don't owe more taxes.
But that's just a little side rant. The point is that in doing my taxes, I realized my 2009 advertising costs amounted to about $500. I recall having read somewhere that you should allocate about 8% of your gross receipts to your marketing budget — and let me assure you, my gross receipts were not the problem in 2009! I should have spent several thousand dollars on advertising. No wonder I have afternoons with nothing to do but enjoy my view and update my Facebook page!
So I have been on a mission for the last week to get my name in front of as many people in my community as I can afford to reach! First, there's a giant monitor downstairs in our lobby that just scrolls through a slideshow of ads. The massage therapist on my floor has her ad on the screen and she passed along the contact info for the "company" that runs it. They have six screens in businesses around town that scroll through the same slideshow and for a reasonable price, they will add my image to the slideshow on all six screens. So I gave the guy a check for a year of advertising and he gave me his buddy's name, phone number and e-mail address to contact regarding sending my images in. Ummmm — (cough cough) — two e-mails have bounced and his buddy hasn't returned my call. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt seeing as how we've had a holiday and all. But I admit, I'm a little nervous. Fortunately, I trust the massage therapist's referral and she says they'll hook me up.
Today I put in a call to a company that puts ads on the shopping carts in the local grocery store. They are a California-based business, but I got voicemail on a Monday afternoon.
I'm starting to think that marketing companies aren't interested in marketing.
But I have been reminded that many businesses have today off as a holiday. My bank was open; if the banks are open, it ain't a holiday! So let's get this ball rolling! The world (or at least Visalia) needs to know who I am.